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Novel set in Edinburgh (“tales within tales”)

25th January 2015

The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes, novel set in Edinburgh.

IMG_0091The Edinburgh described in the book is dark and forbidding, exposing a side that those who know the city can relate to. Old town buildings, Victorian closes and the ever present Arthur’s Seat are written of with knowledge. Glimpses of a more vibrant Edinburgh during the yearly Festival lighten the city, allowing the reader to know that there is more than one side to this glorious city, full of history, pomp and ceremony.

It is a book where the author weaves tales within tales, slowly exposing her characters and building up the readers’ expectation and understanding of what the main plots are. Greek mythology mingles side by side with a modern tale of anguish and despair. A search for answers to questions that cannot be answered only implied as the reader gets further and further into the pages of the book.

Complex characters whose personalities slowly emerge: Alex who is in mourning for her fiancée; Mel a troubled teenager whose deafness is superbly described in a manner that gives the reader an insight into the world of those without perfect hearing; Carly her friend and sometimes confidant; the troubled Annika who rebels against her family and life away from her native Stockholm; Juno and Ricky, products of their environment.

Other characters lend to the complexity of the book, urging the reader to delve further in if only to discover where they lie in the ever emerging twists and turns of the storyline.

The book is set in a Pupil Referral Unit, an educational establishment for troubled youngsters who, for one reason or another, are unable to attend mainstream schools due to their anti-social behaviour. The reader can only have some sympathy for some of these youths whose complicated lives have left them vulnerable and exposed, wanting to be liked and accepted for who they are.

As the story evolves more and more questions surface. Only by reading through to the end can those questions be answered. An interesting read.

KAGA for the TripFiction Team

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Many more books to evoke Edinburgh can be found here


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  1. User: tripfiction

    Posted on: 25/01/2015 at 3:25 pm

    It’s so good to find a book that ‘sticks’ for all the right reasons. Yes @crimeworm I wonder what her next book will be! Great feel for Ed, you are right @tanya Thanks for dropping by!


  2. User: crimeworm

    Posted on: 25/01/2015 at 1:56 pm

    I loved this book; I reviewed it last year and it’s a book that very much stays with you – I often find myself thinking about it. I very much look forward to seeing what Natalie Haynes writes next! A great debut, I think.


  3. User: tanya (52 books or bust)

    Posted on: 25/01/2015 at 11:14 am

    This was such a great book. Gave a real feel for Edinburgh too. I loved it.